Lewis Center for the Arts Alumni POV: Padraic Duffy ‘96

Lewis Center for the Arts Alumni POV: Padraic Duffy ‘96


(upbeat bongo music) – My name is Padraic Duffy. I’m Princeton University, class of 1996. And I was an English major in Program Five and I received a theater certificate. I’ve worked in several theaters around LA. I’m a Los Angeles native, but
Sacred Fools has been my home and so I’ve been here now for, you know, now approaching 20 years. Sacred Fools really
is… it is in the name. We really take theater seriously. We also are foolish in the absurdist comedy that a lot of it is. And so we take being
foolish very seriously. I think that’s sort of how it works. At Sacred Fools, as a
playwright, I’ve done five shows. One I did was called “Puzzler” which was a surreal spy thriller that was about people in Berlin who are charged with piecing together the shredded Stasi files of former citizens. And then they can then
go see their own files. But you know, most of my
stuff has talking animals and little kids and absurd comedy. I come from a artist family so my mother was ballet
dancer for over 20 years and my father’s an actor. I grew up with an idea that the most romantic thing you can be was a starving artist. Studying the arts and specifically theater at Princeton, what I think was so valuable is that it was a true emersion. And I performed for three
years with Quipfire. I think my audition actually that I got in was I started eating grass that I was pretending I was a cow and actually started
eating the grass on campus and they said “you are one
of us” and brought me in. I had a play that got into the Theater Intime Playwriting Festival. I did a one-act play that
took place on a roof. And it was just three brothers on a roof. It was called “The Doppler Affect” but we built a roof with a
gutter and a tree and leaves. That was a magical thing because one, it was fully realized
and I directed it, too but it also just one of the
beautiful things about theater is how much work goes into
something that just evaporates. I have a one year old girl
and four year old boy. My wife is an actor and
so the idea of routine is both necessary and also maddening. Mornings are when I
usually can do writing, work on theater stuff,
and then often times in the late afternoons I
become a stay-at-home dad. And once they have dinner
and they go to bed, then I can often come back
to the theater for shows or meeting, and then
hopefully get a run in or so somewhere. It’s not try the art and
then if that doesn’t work, you know, do something else. It’s you know, I think our kids will see that we don’t have a choice. We both have to do our arts,
and then we’ll figure it out. You know, we’re a family.
We’ll figure it out. (upbeat bongo music)

Dereck Turner

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